Not So Great 8: Vi Lai (WhatsOnVisFace) Tells Us Which Beauty Products Are Not It

Vi Lai

In a world of sponsored posts and questionable beauty endorsements, Vi Lai a.k.a. @WhatsOnVisFace is the real deal. Her beauty reviews are unfiltered, genuine, and she’s not afraid to say when she doesn’t like a product. Her honesty comes from a past where she would enthusiastically buy products without assessing them first.

“I used to be such for a sucker for skincare,” she says. “I was insecure about my skin and had dark circles. Every time someone talked about an eye cream I would buy it and learn the hard way that a product wasn’t for me.”

Lai became an expert in skincare ingredients and irritants, and now educates her followers about what to buy and what to avoid, especially products that come with a high price tag and low efficacy. “You’re losing money and risking your skin,” she says.

Normally our ‘Great 8’ is all about favorites but when I spoke to Lai, we did something a little different, discussing the products she thinks are overrated or harmful. Here are her not so Great 8:

1. Caudalie – Beauty Elixir
This product has no purpose and has no business being on your face. The top ingredient is water, then some antioxidants, but the rest is essential oils, fragrance, and perfume. Those are all bad ingredients that dermatologists would advise against as they’re skin irritants. Even if your skin can tolerate this elixir right now, you could become allergic or irritated over time. It’s a ticking time bomb because fragrance and irritants will eventually cause drama on your face.

2. Supergoop- Sunscreen Mist
This sunscreen mist contains peppermint oil which is a common irritant. When it comes to sunscreens, I’m very against them containing fragrance. It’s something I learned that from Dr. Dray, a dermatologist on YouTube. SPF creates a film on your skin and when the formula contains fragrance or essential oils they’re eventually broken down by UV rays. This can lead to irritation and create rashes. It can also cause hyperpigmentation. Also because it’s a mist once it leaves the bottle it can diffuse and become less effective. Nevertheless, this product is super popular with influencers — are you even an influencer if you’re not misting your face?

3. Sunday Riley – Luna Sleeping Night Oil
This oil is supposed to be a retinol and help with anti-aging but again, it contains essential oils that do more harm than good. Also, the retinol in this product is so weak, it might not even deliver any benefits. It’s also strange to have fragrance mixed with retinol because retinol is supposed to penetrate the skin and then fragrance getting in deeper would cause even more irritation. You can get something much cheaper from The Ordinary that will harm your skin less.

whatsonvisface on TikTok

whatsonvisface (@whatsonvisface) has created a short video on TikTok with music original sound. please let me know I’m not the only one with the last one smh 🤦‍♀️ #tiktokwellness #skincareroutine #skincare #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok

4. Tatcha – Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
This product works for some people and it’s supposed to make your pores look flawless. It’s $65 and it has some good ingredients but also essential oils. I don’t completely dislike this product but the part that makes your skin flawless is silicone (which I don’t think is a bad ingredient) but you can get a similar product for a fraction of the price without essential oils.

5. Drunk Elephant – C-Firma™ Day Serum | Vitamin C for Face | Drunk Elephant
The elephant in the room! I used to love Drunk Elephant when I was new to skincare and I didn’t have the knowledge I have today. They don’t deserve to be trashed but they are not worth the money. None of their products are horrible but some miss the mark. The Vitamin C – the formula is there but needs to be less stick or tacky — that’s my personal preference. What’s bad about this product though is that it oxidizes way faster than other products in this price range. With Vitamin C the good serums are unstable but if it oxidizes within five weeks you can’t get through a whole bottle. It may not be on purpose but I’m always using it so quickly and once it’s orange I find it more irritating on my skin.

6. Drunk Elephant – Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
This balls up on my face which isn’t great. If you have the cash and it works for you then go ahead, but it’s not for me.

7. Makeup Wipes
We love to hate these! They don’t belong in your household because they have harsh chemicals, alcohol, and fragrance in them. The purpose is to wipe makeup off your face but in reality, you’re just spreading makeup, dirt, and pollution around your skin with harsh chemicals. Why put your face through all that when you can use a gentle cleanser? I just feel like I don’t actually take anything off – especially mascara. In the past, it used to stain my eyes and I got dark circles. They’re also not great for the environment. If you’re on the road and desperate, okay but don’t use them on a regular basis. It’s funny because a lot of celebrities use them on social media or in features like Harper’s Bazaar’s “Go to Bed With Me”. You want to tell me they’re using a Neutrogena makeup wipe and then Barbara Sturm’s $300 serum? That’s so fishy, I think they’re sponsored. They’re like “oh this pays for my sick beach house so I’ll use it today, then see my dermatologist tomorrow.”

8. St Ives – Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
As a teenager, this left my skin so smooth but you’re stripping your face and damaging the barrier. Nowadays I don’t do physical exfoliation anymore. I subscribe to the Japanese skincare school of being super gentle. It’s all about not interfering with your skin and not straining it. It’s easier to prevent than to treat!

Follow WhatsOnVisFace on TikTok and Instagram

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